Friday, December 30, 2011

First Date by Krista McGee

Addy Davison is to busy living her scheduled life and preparing for college to live life spontaneously. When her name is submitted for a new reality TV show to win a prom date with the President's son, Addy's world it turned upside down. She must learn to deal with mean girls, people who hate her faith, and the press. Through it all, Addy learns to live out her faith.

Based loosely on the story of Esther, I found this book to be the perfect read during a vacation from school! Its a bit predictable, but well written. The story has a positive message to it. I like that there was more depth to the story, since there are some excerpts of her mom's missionary journal. Authors write the best about what they know, and this author knows both mission work and high schoolers.

I did find it a bit unbelievable that everyone, including the President, kept up with the "First Son" and his love life, but perhaps that is because I'm not into that sort of things as an adult.;) I don't keep up with the Obama girls.:) Fiction is suppose to be somewhat unbelievable, and this was such a minor deal. I give First Date two thumbs up and look forward to the sequel!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The Grace Effect

"The keystone that sits atop the grand archway of authentic Christianity is grace"
Larry Alex Taunton

When author Larry Alex Taunton has a friendly debates about the concept of God and religion with renowned Christopher Hitchens (author of God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything) and John Lennox (Oxford mathematician and fellow Christian), Taunton throws out the idea of "common grace": the thought that when there is a Christian influence in the culture, it will bring benefits to the whole of that society. Little did he know that life was about to show him just how true "common grace" really is.

Some time after the debate, the author and his family travel to Ukraine to start the process of adopting a ten year old girl names Sasha. While there, the Taunton family sees the effects of Communism and the lack of Christianity through the corruption of a country that has been without religion for generations.

With the recent events of Occupy Wall street, Taunton's thoughts on socialism/communism are even closer to home. Socialism is merely the start of Communism, and Communism cannot abide with Christianity because it takes the place of religion by putting the state in place of God. I appreciated his thoughts on Socialism, having just covered the basics of it in Modern Civilization. Taunton backs up his thoughts with quotes from our own presidents, which I found interesting.

When I received this book, I wasn't so sure that it would live up to my expectations. Boy, was I wrong! The author does a wonderful job of addressing the arguments of the New Atheist and backing them up his own opinions. Even if you don't agree with Christianity, I think that this is a wonderful book to check out, just so you know where Christians are coming from. I appreciate that the author didn't bash Ukraine, even though I am sure he found parts of it infuriating. He also didn't bash atheism. I think it helps that he was a good friend of Hitchens.

All in all, I give this book a five. It was insightful and written in layman terms, so even though some of the material is incredibly thought provoking, it isn't difficult to follow along.

Reviewed for

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Have you seen the email going around about church bulletin bloopers? We had one of our own at church, which was rather hilarious about a not so hilarious situation.
In the prayer request section:
"Pray for missionary ______, who was robed at knife point"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mint cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup 2% milk
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. dark chocolate or coating chocolate, melted

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and extracts. Combine flour, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
2. Shape dough into a tube, put in plastic wrap, and place in freezer for two hours, or until firm.
3. Unwrap and cut, placing 1 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets.
4. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove cookies from sheet and place on a wire wrack to cool completely.
5. Dip cookies in chocolate and place on parchment paper. These cookies look cute with sprinkles on them, but are good without also.:)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, since it was the one where we would either pack up and head to Kansas to be with extended family or have the whole clan over to our house. It's kind of funny that it was a bigger deal than Christmas when it came to seeing family. I suppose that is because most like to stay at home on Christmas day.:D I'm glad my in laws celebrate Christmas with all the relatives, since that is just how I like my holidays. But, I digress.:D
Other than getting together with family, I love the opportunity to reflect on those blessings that the Lord has given me. I'm a bit of a worrier by nature, so sometimes I forget all that I have been blessed with. It's a good practice to count one's blessings, not only around Thanksgiving, but throughout the year.
This year I am especially thankful for my wonderful family, both the one I was born into and my in-laws. I'm thankful for a loving husband who is there by my side. I'm thankful that we both have decent jobs, even if we do work hard.;) I have also been thinking how thankful I am for a roof over our head. A year ago today we closed on our house and, as of last month, it is all ours! When we bought the place, it hadn't been lived in for at least 9 months, so we didn't know what we were getting into. Thanks to the help of family and friends, we have been able to replace the plumbing, re-do parts of the electrical (we haven't touched the upstairs yet, since we aren't living up there), put in a new water heater, hang sheet rock in two rooms, mud walls, paint, and replace the bathroom vanity. In some respects, the inside looks like a different place! We still have our work cut out for us this coming year though.;)
Happy Thanksgiving to all my online friends! Take this opportunity to reflect on those blessings in your life.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Anastasia style

I am reading: My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren, even though I really should be doing Algebra homework.

What I am listening too:Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson. This is currently one of my very favorites, since it is sweet and so true!

What I am thinking about: How I need to go on another camping trip.

What I need to do:Go make some lunch. I'm thinking today is the perfect day for corn chowder, Grandmommy style.:)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Belief-o-Matic quiz

So, for the World Religion class I am taking, I had to go to this site
and take the test to see what it said about my beliefs. At the end of the course, the teacher is going to have us take it again to see if going through this class will help us to better define what we belief. That would probably help, since there were some of the questions that I was like "I have no idea!". lol.
What were my results?

Your Top 3 Faith Match Profiles Are:
1. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (100%)
2. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (97%)
3. Jehovah's Witness (91%)

I thought that was rather interesting.;) I would love to see what your results are!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Southwest Bulgur Burgers
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bulgur
1 can (15-19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

In a saucepan, heat water and salt to a boil. Stir in bulgur. Reduce heat to low and cover until water is absorbed, which should take about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash the beans with a fork or potato masher, stirring in the sour cream until almost smooth. Add the seasoning. With floured hands, shape into burgers. Cook in a skillet until heated through. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

I have always enjoyed veggie burgers, so I am happy to have found a recipe for making my own that has such a good texture! I plan on experimenting a bit with the recipe to add more veggies to it.:D

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's national library week.:)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm in the process of moving all of my books out of my parents house and into my own. How did I accumulate so many over the years? My parents used to tease me that my books were my dowry.;) Guess I should of warned Andrew of that. lol.
We have one bookcase up right now. Once the living and dining rooms are (relatively) dust free, I hope to help (watch?:D) Andrew make a few to go in there.
All the possibilities!:D

A while back, we received a notice from our insurance company that informed us they no longer wanted to cover if our house stayed the way it was. They requested we remove the wood burning stove pipe that was left in the house, since it wasn't being used (which wasn't a huge deal) and to paint the exterior of the addition. What? In the middle of Winter? I can't say we were terrible happy. Thankfully though, the Lord blessed us with some gorgeous weather, so we were able to get the mud room painted in time.

Markets have started up again! We went to the KC Food Circle expo at the Sermon Center on Saturday and will attend the next expo this weekend at the Shawnee Mission Civic Center. It is nice to have a few Saturday's off in the Winter time, but by the time warmer weather is here, I'm ready for the markets to start up again. Its like a homecoming when you go to the first one and see all your favorite venders and customers.;)

We are working on our gluten free site, which the lovely Miss. Laura is helping us design. I'm afraid that there isn't much to the site ( at the moment. We are working on adding some content to the site. I do believe that is the hard part, attempting to come up with something interesting and engaging, and yet to the point.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Might not be the stuff I would choose, but this is the stuff You use. Francesca Battostelli

This winter has made me seriously reconsider my choice in a vehicle. I used to love it, but somehow, with all the Winter storms, I have lost my appreciation for my car. Why, you ask? It is rear wheel drive.
Just last week I was driving to my parents house, on the way home from work, when I wound up in the ditch. My youngest brother was in the car with me and lamented that "Every Winter I wind up in the ditch with you!". lol. (It's not quite that bad!) His comment made me realize that he was reflecting my own thoughts. Instead of realizing how blessed we were that no one was behind us when we spun all over the road, we were focusing on the inconvenience. There have been several instances like this one over the last couple weeks. Like, the time we had to cut into the newly painted wall to replace the shower fixture. It was sad to have to take a step backward. Yet, we found that some of the plumbing had been cross threaded. It was better to find that out now, rather than waiting till it caused problems!
Its made me think of the things that happen every day that I count as an inconvenience, rather than to see if for the blessing it is.